Over the past few years, Japan has seen significant crypto retail trading. The jump from traditional trading to crypto trading was natural, as retail investors are as likely to be trading "10-50x margin FX products as equities," according to Eric Meltzer, co-founder of crypto-focused venture capital firm, Primitive Ventures.
However, homegrown cryptocurrency projects have not flourished in the same way, due to a lack of crypto "hackers" and engineering talent. Similarly, institutional interest in Japan is developing slowly, primarily due to conservative corporate stakeholders and regulators.
Japanese regulators require approval for each cryptoasset listed on each exchange. Exchanges operate across an array of regulatory frameworks. As a result, different exchanges must come up with different reasons to justify listing the same cryptoasset. As Meltzer says, things are "weird" in Japan. That being said, he concludes that institutional support for crypto in Japan over the next few years. Per Meltzer, "I had a small dinner with people running crypto funds, exchanges, and projects on my last day in Tokyo, and the level of excitement seems to still be very high." (Source: Proof of Work)
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